26 Aug 2020 News

International Resource Panel and STAP Member Documentary on Materiality of COVID Adaptation

The rapid adaptation to "work from home" during the COVID crisis has had a variety of environmental implications. While many commentators have noted the reduction in urban air pollution due to reduced commutes and transport emissions, the adaptation has a hidden supply chain of materials and energy. In order to work from home, we have relied on a vast network of materials needed for internet cables, computer servers and memory storage devices.

Professor Saleem H. Ali, STAP panel member teamed with Hollywood director Alex Tyson to produce a short documentary feature which has been launched on the UNEP Youtube Channel. Alex Tyson has previously worked on the Emmy-award winning and Oscar nominated documentary Gasland. The documentary is particularly well-suited for viewing by students and its 5 minute duration also makes it opportune for social media content sharing.

Funding for the documentary was provided by the University of Delaware's Minerals, Materials and Society program which is directed by Professor Ali. The documentary will also be shared at documentary film festivals in coming months.